ABERDEEN, S.D. -- Michelle Ladner's family was forever changed after July 19, 2018.
That's when they were notified Ladner had been stabbed and, as a result, was on her way to a Sioux Falls hospital and later died.
Tanisha Renee Jordan-Mondo, the killer of the 37-year-old Ladner, was sentenced Wednesday, Dec. 11, to 40 years in prison with credit for 482 days served.
Jordan-Mondo, 39, earlier pleaded guilty but mentally ill to felony manslaughter. She was ordered to pay $11,220 in restitution plus felony court costs of $107.
Both Ladner's sisters — Melissa Briggs and Jennifer Ramos — gave statements about their loss and asked that Jordan-Mondo be sentenced to life in prison.
"To know her was to love her," Briggs said of her sister, describing her as a person who was accepting of everyone.
Ramos also referred to her sister as her best friend and her rock.
"We have a hole in our family that will never be filled," Ramos said.
Briggs and Ramos also noted their sister was not perfect and struggled with drug addiction and a disability, but said Ladner loved her daughter, who was 10 in 2018.
That disability was later identified as fetal alcohol syndrome.
Details in court revealed that Jordan-Mondo was Ladner's neighbor and that she struggled with her own mental health and addiction issues.
Rapid City psychiatrist Steve Manlov testified that Jordan-Mondo suffered from schizophrenia and was using methamphetamine. With proper treatment and sobriety, Manlov said, Jordan-Mondo could be a productive member of society.
But Brown County State's Attorney Chris White noted three incidents in 2017 when Jordan-Mondo spent time in Chicago hospitals after reports that she was hearing voices that either told her to harm herself or others. He said Jordan-Mondo stopped taking her medication in May 2018 and heard voices that told her to hurt Ladner.
Video of Jordan-Mondo's interview with Aberdeen Police Department detective Mark Miller showed Jordan-Mondo admitting to stabbing Ladner twice in the neck. Jordan-Mondo said the knife was hers. She also blamed Ladner for the argument, claiming she slung racial slurs at Jordan-Mondo's son.
White disputed that claim that Ladner used racial slurs. He said that during later interviews Jordan-Mondo referenced a completely different reason for the argument with Ladner. He described Ladner as a vulnerable person who was checked on daily by a family member.
While White asked for life in prison, defense attorney Marshall Lovrien asked for a sentence closer to 30 years. He reminded Myren on several occasions that Jordan-Mondo didn't intend to kill Ladner and that she was off her medication, taking illegal drugs and was angry about the racial slurs.
While Jordan-Mondo did not speak at sentencing, Lovrien read a statement from her in which she expressed remorse, acknowledged the grief she caused and said she hoped Ladner's family could eventually forgive her.
Jordan-Mondo must serve at least 65% of her sentence before she is eligible for parole.